Thailand has reopened its doors to tourism on November 1, 2021, after 18 months of pandemic curbs. Vaccinated travelers from low-risk countries are no longer required to go into quarantine. Visitors from the UK, China, Japan, the US, and most of Europe are qualified for the quarantine-free entry. The number of tourists in the country is expected to rise to 15 million next year, bringing in more than $30 billion. However, only around 42% of the population is fully vaccinated. Thailand is still recording almost 10,000 COVID-19 cases a day.

Many Thai business owners from famous tourist districts are not optimistic about the reopening. Wiwan Siriwasaeree, a hostel owner, is worried about the consequences of welcoming tourists back to Khaosan Road. “We fear that after we let the tourists in and the new Covid-19 cases spike again, will we go into another lockdown? I’m not so confident about the situation,” she said. Before the pandemic, the Chinese were the biggest group of tourists in Thailand. The Thai government predicts that its tourism industry will recover by 2023, but experts say that China’s decision to keep most of its borders closed will slow down recovery.